Natalie Way is a New York City based writer and editor with roots in the San Francisco Bay Area. She's incredibly kind, insanely hilarious and has an affinity for craft beer, mid-century modern décor and striped shirts. Today, Natalie opens up about her struggle with adult acne, divulges her favorite beauty DIY and shares beauty inspiration for her upcoming wedding (!).
Tell us about your skin care routine. What products do you use daily?
I didn't really have a skin care routine until after I graduated college (covers eyes in embarrassment). Before then, I was always a wash-my-face-when-I-feel-like-it kind of person. Thankfully, I didn't struggle with acne in high school (more on that later), so I could get away with a lazy skin care regimen. But, that's not the case these days.
At the very minimum, I wash my face every night with Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, spray a rosewater toner (100% rosewater from Heritage Store), and apply a moisturizer called The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb by a Korean company called Belif.
Every couple days, I'll exfoliate with Angels on Bare Skin by Lush, and then apply a mask — Mario Badescu's Super Collagen Mask and Aesop's Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque are currently in rotation. They're both great for brightening and clearing up dry skin.
Around age twenty four my skin started freaking out — cystic acne on my chin and around my mouth — and I found myself Googling remedies for adult acne. I tried tons of serums, cleansers, masks but my skin refused to clear up. It was only when I started oil cleansing that the whiteheads and redness dramatically reduced.
I realized that my skin needed a cleanser that doesn't strip it of natural oils (unlike the salicylic ones I'd tried to dry out my acne) and a thick moisturizer. I had used some of Glossier's products before, and I ordered the Milky Jelly cleanser on the recommendation from one of my favorite beauty bloggers Chelsea Wears (who had also been dealing with random adult acne flareups). It was everything my skin needed and more! I'm on my fourth bottle with no desire to try something new.
What makeup do you usually wear?
After applying a thin layer of Belif moisturizer, I use Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Cameo all over my face and Glossier Stretch Concealer in Light under my eyes, Laura Mercier Eyebrow Pencil in Soft Brunette, bronzer by No. 7 Perfectly Bronzed Mosaic Bronzer with a kabuki brush, and a couple layers of Buxom Mascara in Blackest Black. On my lips, I use Glossier Rose Balm Dotcom or Generation G in Like. I rub it in with my finger and dab the excess on my cheeks. Fragrance wise, I've been wearing Lys 41 by Le Labo for a couple years.
What haircare products do you use?
I wash my hair every three days with some type of OGX shampoo, right now it's the Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen, and use this lavender conditioner from Renpure that smells so good (and not really like lavender, tbh). Before I dry my hair, I use Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil. I put some simple waves in with my FHI Heat flat iron and then run Bumble's Semisumo pomade through the ends.
What's your go-to hairstyle?
Down, center parted with loose waves, or a center parted low bun.
Are there any DIY beauty treatments you love?
I make a facial toner by combining a bottle of 100% rosewater with about 15 drops of tea tree oil. The rosewater is great for reducing redness and the tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial treatment. It smells great and lasts forever. I've also made my own rosewater by boiling rose petals and straining out the water and oil that sits on the top (that's the good stuff).
What's the last product you used 'til there was nothing left?
Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. I go through about a jar a month because I use this stuff morning and night and I'm not stingy with how much I slather on my face, so I need to scrape out each and every drop.
Do you prefer your nails natural or polished?
Natural! A clear layer of top coat is about as fancy as I get. Maybe I'll step it up and do nude-colored nails for my wedding?
Speaking of, you're currently in the midst of planning your wedding (congratulations!). How did your fiancé propose?
Thank you! My fiancé, Michael, and I moved from Southern California to New York City last summer, and after an eleven day trek we finally arrived in a shoebox of an Airbnb in the Upper East Side where we would stay for two weeks before moving into our apartment.
The night we arrived, we went to a wonderful dinner (Rosie's) and one of our favorite beer bars in the East Village (Jimmy's No. 43, where we also saw Kumail Nanjiani from Silicon Valley).
We got back to our Airbnb, I changed into my pajamas and was fully ready to settle in, when Michael dropped to his knee in the living room. He told me he had wanted to pull over on the freeway when we saw a "Welcome to New York City" sign and do it there, but the sign we saw was on the George Washington Bridge (a.k.a. you don't stop).
The way he did it was so heartfelt, private, and perfect.
Last summer, you drove across the country — how did you maintain your skin while traveling?
That Mario Badescu Super Collagen Mask I mentioned was my lifesaver. I masked nearly every day in our hotel rooms which was a great way to decompress after multiple hours of driving.
Have you made any changes to your beauty routine since moving to New York?
I haven't added any products to my skincare or beauty routine, but if anything, I wear less makeup.
Do you have any wedding day beauty prep plans?
I'm planning a couple facial treatments at the Caudalíe Vinotherapie Spa in the city. I just love their natural approach to skin care. I've also become pretty dedicated to weekly cycling and barre classes.
Do you have any wedding day beauty inspiration you can share?
I'm still deciding if I want to wear my hair up or down, but I loved Olivia Palermo's wedding look — a simple tousled ponytail with a center part. And how iconic is Carolyn Bessette Kennedy's effortless low bun and "no makeup" makeup look?
What's one thing you do every day that makes you feel great?
As cliché as it sounds, I love the feeling of washing my face. Living in the city and riding subway everyday has really made me appreciate the moment when I can come home and take off the day.
When do you feel most comfortable in your own skin?
Speaking of washing my face, I feel most comfortable and beautiful right after I finish up my skin care routine for the night.
How would you describe your approach to beauty?
Natural, minimal and loyal. In the past, when my skin broke out I would try a dozen new products to try to fix the problem only to find the break outs even worse. There was a stretch of time when I spent more money on products from the Sephora skin care section than I care to admit. I've realized that a little patience and loyalty to the products that work will clear everything up. I'm a creature of habit with my beauty and skin care routines, but I'm also not opposed to a bold lip every now and then (Nars Heat Wave or Chanel Rouge Coco in Etienne <3 ).
Be sure to follow Natalie on Instagram, and check back next week for the latest installment of 52 Faces, a weekly series that spotlights an inspiring woman's beauty routine. Last week, thalia ho, the talented baker behind the delectable blog butter and brioche, talked about the inspiration behind her recipes, the one ingredient she "borrows" from the kitchen for her beauty routine, and the genius in-flight essentials she always travels with.